Norfolk’s Newday inspires 7,000 young worshippers
7,000 young people have travelled from across the country and beyond to Newday at the Norfolk Showground this week, to camp out in tents with their church youth groups, have fun, learn more about Jesus and be inspired to go back home to disrupt the darkness. Network Norfolk’s Jenny Seal visited the event.
Every evening this week in a cavernous blue tent on the Norfolk Showground thousands of young Christians aged 12-19 eagerly come together to pray for each other, to worship and be inspired to dream big dreams with God for their life.
On Thursday, arriving at 7pm, the start time for Newday's evening meeting, it was a challenge to find a place to sit. The huge tent, that is large enough for 7,000 people to sit on the ground in organised rows on the cushions and pillows that the young people bring along, was full. The thousands of young worshippers had got there early to grab a spot and wait in anticipation for the worship meeting to begin.
Newday has become a major Christian youth festival. During the day, from Monday, July 31 to Saturday, August 5, Newday engages the 7,000 young people camping on site with an extensive range of age appropriate seminars, workshops, masterclasses and outreach opportunities.
Free time is spent in the beautifully decorated outbuildings of the Showground, hanging out at concerts in the Rhythm Factory or The Lounge, drinking milkshakes in The CowShed, watching films in the Cinema, playing a huge range of sports on the open spaces, bouncing on inflatables, braving the extreme fairground ride or eating from a range of tasty food outlets.
The evening meeting is the focal point in the day when everyone joins together to engage in powerful worship, witness miraculous healings and listen to engaging speakers unpack Bible passages.
On Thursday evening worship leader, Simon Brading led the Newday band in a mix of new and familiar worship songs accompanied by a 12-piece string section. To see so many young people, sporting baseball caps, glitter tattoos, shorts and hoodies, praising God wholeheartedly with arms aloft is a breathtaking and beautiful sight.
The meeting was punctuated by Adrian Holloway interviewing young people who had experienced medically verified miraculous healing. Young people testified to being healed from a range of conditions including dyslexia, arthritis and neck pain.
15-year old Kezia talked about her experience of being healed from the debilitating chronic condition, POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome) which has no cure or treatment. Kezia suffered from the terrifying condition for 3 years and by the time she came to Newday last year she was fainting without warning 2 or 3 times a week. After being prayed for at Newday last year she testified that she hasn’t fainted since.
Livy Gibbs, the speaker for Thursday’s evening meeting, gave a bold message on 2 Kings 6, about Elisha being surrounded by the Syrian Army. She said: “We are called to have an attitude like Elisha. We are not called to escape this world. We are not called to hang on in there for our 60 years or whatever before we die. We are called to infiltrate this world. We are called to infiltrate the cities and towns and communities where we live. We are not running away from the darkness, we are running into it, knowing that we are agents of light; that we are shining like stars.”
Livy continued: “Isn’t it time that we said no more blending in, no more trying to fit in with the culture, no more feeling sorry for ourselves as Christians in 2017? Isn’t it time that we said no more fearing the darkness? Isn’t it time we said no more thinking like victims? It’s time to infiltrate. It’s time to have a new mentality where you start to see that your mission, should you choose to accept it, is as one of God’s secret agents enlisted on the earth to infiltrate the enemy camp with the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
The young people were then encouraged to spend time dreaming with God about how they could have an impact to bring the Kingdom of Light into their community.
Joel Virgo said: “It’s time for some of you to start dreaming. I tell you, you might think you are ambitious, you have no idea how ambitious Jesus is. Start dreaming. It’s time to dream big dreams. God’s plan for your life is so much bigger and greater than yours.”
If you would like to take your youth group to Newday in 2018 and take advantage of having one of the largest Christian youth festivals on your Norfolk doorstep click here to find out more.